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Tighter monetary conditions, strong Won, to see BOK keep rates on hold in H1

January 16, 2018

SEOUL - The Korean Won was the best performing currency in Asia in 2017 – rising by 13% versus the US dolla.r Rapid export growth, a weaker USD, and fear of being labelled a currency manipulator by US President Trump were key reasons that the Bank of Korea (BOK) stayed on the sideline and allowed the Won to outperform in 2017, says the French bank, Natixis, adding that it does not expect such strength is to last, for two reasons:

One to watch: China’s draft Export Control Law likely to be enacted in 2018

January 17, 2018

HONG KONG – China’s Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM) in June 2017 published a  draft Export Control Law (ECL) for public comment. In a Client Alert, lawyers Baker McKenzie says that, if enacted, the ECL will be the first set of comprehensive and unified export control legislation in China, which is aimed at upgrading the country's existing regime of various administrative regulations and rules. BM says the ECL is widely expected to be introduced in the National People's Congress within 2018.

China opposes Vancouver meeting on Korean Peninsula issue

January 17, 2018

BEIJING - China on Tuesday again voiced opposition to a gathering in Vancouver of foreign ministers from 20 countries on security and stability on the Korean Peninsula. Canada and the United States will co-host the meeting to discuss measures to exert maximum diplomatic as well as economic pressures on North Korea to force it to end its nuclear and missile programmes.

Asia-Pacific Sovereign rating trends for 2018 published by S&P

January 12, 2018

SINGAPORE - Most Asia-Pacific sovereign ratings are likely to remain unchanged in the next one to two years, S&P Global Ratings said in a report released today. "All but two of our sovereign ratings in the region currently record a stable outlook,” S&P said. “Although economic growth rates this year are likely to be lower than 2017's, our current real GDP forecasts are mostly stronger than our 2018 growth forecasts made a year earlier.

Vietnam surpassed its major economic goals in 2017, GDP target for 2018 at 6.5%

January 11, 2018

HO CHI MINH CITY - Vietnam fulfilled and surpassed major economic goals in 2017 with its GDP growth rate among the highest globally. The Government’s target of 6.5-6.7% GDP growth for 2018 looks feasible as the stable macro-economic environment will expectedly continue into next year, according to Vietnam Asset Management in its monthly report.

Macron's visit to China ‘possibly changing the anchor of EU-China relations’

January 10, 2018

HONG KONG – French President Macron’s first state visit to China is not only relevant for France’s economic and political agenda but also for that of Europe, says Alicia Garcia Herrero, Chief Economist Asia Pacific for Natixis. She says Macron and China’s President Xi Jinping can be expected to increase the frequency of their State visits as well as bilateral exchanges to an extent that France might become China’s most relevant partner in Continental Europe.

North Korea to send delegation, athletes to South Korean Games

January 9, 2018

SEOUL – According to South Korean officials, North Korea today agreed to send a delegation, including athletes, officials and supporters to the 2018 Winter Olympic Games in Pyongyang in February. Delegations from the two countries met today at the Peace House of Panmunjom in what were the first high-level talks between them for more than two years.

Trump says 'US supports President Moon 100%'

January 9, 2018

SEOUL – During a phone call between South Korea’s President, Moon Jae-in, and U.S. President Donald Trump on January 4 to discuss matters related to the PyeongChang 2018 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games, the two Heads of State decided to temporarily halt U.S.-Korea joint military exercises during the sporting event, and agreed to do their best to ensure the successful and peaceful opening of the PyeongChang Games.

Taiwan protests unilateral launch of mainland China flight routes in Taiwan Strait

January 8, 2018

TAIPEI – Taiwan has formally protested a unilateral decision by China to launch four new flight routes – a northbound route known as M503 and three referred to as ‘east-west extension routes’ in the Taiwan Strait. Taiwan’s Government said China initiated the four routes on January 4 without prior communication with Taiwan and began flights the same day.

China revives tax incentive for dividends reinvested into China

January 5, 2018

BEIJING – China’s Ministry of Finance, State Administration of Taxation (SAT), National Development and Reform Commission and Ministry of Commerce have jointly released Notice 88 which allows a non-resident enterprise to defer payment of tax on dividends derived from a Chinese enterprise if, among other things, the non-resident enterprise directly reinvests the dividends into industries “encouraged” by the Chinese Government.

China vulnerability sentiment ends 2017 on a high note

January 3, 2018

HONG KONG – BBVA’s China Vulnerability Sentiment Index (CVSI) ended 2017 on a high note, extending previous gains. The improvement was underpinned by a shift in policy focus towards quality of growth, PBOC’s prudent monetary policy stance, a stable yuan and ongoing efforts to curb risks to financial stability emanating from housing, SOEs and the shadow banking sector, BBVA said.